| “Start seeing your customers through their eyes instead of having a one-size-fits-all strategy,” says Debbie Allen, international professional speaker, author and president of Allen and Associates Consulting. “People like to be treated differently.”
How do you diversify your selling strategies? Allen provides some tips.
Develop a stronger customer focus. What are the buying influences of different genders or age groups? Before you speak with your next customer, do some research. Learn the buying triggers by reading their publications and watching their TV shows. Then listen and pay attention to them.
“Men are also very mission oriented.”
Develop a strong understanding of different generations. “If you are communicating with different generations, you’ve got to know how they communicate,” says Allen. “There’s nothing wrong with asking them. For example, doing business with the senior market [born 1922 to 1943] means you need to relate more and not rush the sale. It’s more a respect factor. Seniors like communicating in person or via phone calls. Writing personal notes also might work. Some of the senior market is becoming more techno-savvy, but they tend to stick with what has worked over the years. By the way, this generation can give you great testimonial letters.
“The baby boomers [born 1943 to 1960] are a huge, multitasking generation,” says Allen. “They like convenience and time-saving ideas. Get to the point with them. They are also very self-aware; talk about them. A way to connect is to recognize and call them by name.”
Generation X [born 1960 to 1980] is a smaller generation who grew up with technology. “Don’t be high pressure or come on too strong with this group,” says Allen. “This generation is much less trusting. Also, use the right amount of technology – not too much hype or flash in your presentations. They’ve seen it already and it won’t impress them.” This is a very visual group and it’s okay to communicate with them via email.
The bottom line to communicating with diversity: Make changes, challenges and trends work within your ever-changing marketplace. Be aware that every single person is different. Embrace those differences and enjoy the process of connecting with different people.
60 Seconds: Make a client list and figure out the generations and genders you are communicating with. Then adjust your style and presentations to fit their styles.
By Renee Houston Zemanski